Map 8: – Lord Selkirk’s Grant 1817

In 1801 Alexander MacKenzie published his memoirs on his adventures in Western Canada.  Thomas Selkirk, whom the western native chief’s eventually named “Silver Chief” Selkirk, was so impressed with MacKenzie’s narrative that he applied for and received a grant to purchase land shown in the above map, that he called “Assiniboia”.  In the early 1800’s Scotland was in a social upheaval which created thousands of destitute Scots.  So the promise of free land to destitute men for settling a wilderness was easy.  About 15,000 Scots, mostly men, settled here, mingling with the aboriginal women, creating the Metis.  Scots were the hardiest, most adaptable to husbandry, choice for settlers.  Selkirk tried to introduce some Swiss settlers; the men however, being mostly chefs and watch makers, didn’t last and left the country.  However, their blonde, buxom women caused such a furore amongst the over population of men, they were quickly lured into marriage, thereby adding the Swiss mix to the early settlers in Assiniboia.

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